BSA provides Bear den meeting ideas for den leaders on the Scouting.org website. These Cub Scout Bear den meeting plans are step by step guides to carrying out a den meeting. In addition to the basic den meeting plans, there are supplemental plans which can be used if you have additional meetings left. Today I will go through the first Bear supplemental plan – maps. This plan covers much of Bear Elective 23 – Maps and the Map and Compass Belt Loop.
If you don’t already have the BSA den meeting plans, download BSA Bear Den Meeting Supplemental Plan A to follow along with this article.
Bear Den Meeting Plans: Maps
Preparation and Before the Meeting
Most of the preparation for this meeting is gathering the maps and other supplies for the meeting.
Check out my gathering activities page for some ideas.
Say the Scout Law.
Keep business to a minimum.
The den will be working on Bear Elective 23, requirements a, b, c, and e as well as the Map and Compass belt loop.
Elective 23a. Look up your state on a U.S. map. What other states touch its borders?
Elective 23b. Find your city or town on a map of your state. How far do you live from the state capital?
Elective 23c. In which time zone do you live? How many time zones are there in the U.S.?
These 3 can be completed by spreading out some maps and looking at them. If your den is large, then definitely follow the suggestion to break them into groups and rotate through the activities. It is difficult to have more than about 4 Cub Scouts looking at a map at once, even if it is large.
Elective 23 e. Mark a map showing the way to a place you would like to visit that is at least 50 miles from your home.
Combine this with requirement 3 for the belt loop below. They can draw their own map and mark the route on it. They will probably find it helpful to have a map to look at when drawing their own maps.
Map and Compass belt loop 1: Show how to orient a map. Find three landmarks on the map.
This should be done with the other map activities above.
Map and Compass belt loop 2: Explain how a compass works.
The Bears will enjoy creating their own compasses. See Make Your Own Compass for additional information about making the compass.
Map and Compass belt loop 3: Draw a map of your neighborhood. Label the streets and plot the route you take to get to a place that you often visit
Their hand drawn maps probably won’t be perfect. It is interesting to ask them about the landmarks they put on their maps. Sometimes these are much different than what adults would consider landmarks. I
Close with the Scout Oath.
After the meeting
Have them help fold the maps and put them away. Line up some parents to help at the next meeting.